Photo: Caraota Digital retrieved

Last weekend revolved around Juan Guaidó’s announcements in the cabildo abierto and the apparent revival of the opposition that followed. There’s a sense of urgency among both the Venezuelan people and the international community for a transition in Venezuela. A feeling reconfirmed last Saturday after a five-hour blackout killed at least two patients at Caracas’ University Hospital.

Over a hundred people, including at least 12 patients, five of them under critical care (three newborns and two elderly), their relatives, and some doctors had to be moved to different hospitals in the capital, a slow and complicated process due to the limited number of functioning ambulances at the health center. By 9:00 p.m., about two hours after the lights went off, the hospital’s union leader, Mario Zambrano informed the deaths of two patients in the Emergency Room. A few hours later, social media reports claimed five more patients had died due to the blackout. The total number is still unconfirmed.

Around midnight, Luis Motta Domínguez, Minister of Electrical Energy informed—in his best Pontius Pilate style—that the blackout was caused by an internal problem in the Hospital’s electric grid and that it wasn’t a consequence of his mismanaged corporation. When asked about the reasons why the hospital generators didn’t start after the blackout, he limited to answering “ask the director”.

The hospital’s board of directors has been in the public opinion spotlight for a while now…  and for all the wrong reasons.

Back in November, Drs. Pablo Castillo and José Alvarado’s names (subdirector and director, respectively) went viral on social networks after signing a letter where they refused supplies from NGO Doctors Without Borders, and urged the international community to lift economic sanctions against chavista honchos, if they really wanted to help patients. More recently, Castillo and Alvarado were photographed “enjoying” a party with a garota inside the hospital director’s office, lap dance included. It’s surprising that the board of directors had the time and resources to carry on with this show, but not to address the fact that the hospital’s electric generators have been broken down for over three months, as denounced by Dr. José Manuel Olivares.

Blackout deaths aren’t new. They’ve been reported around hospitals in the interior for years now. But this case is remarkable for reasons beyond the board of directors being a bunch of jerks.

First, the government has always done “its best” to keep things like this from happening in Caracas, a city that only recently has experienced the full scale of the decade-long national electric crisis. It’s hard to think about a worst moment for a scandal like this to happen. On the other hand, the blackout comes just hours after Nicolás Maduro had meetings with UN and Unicef representatives, announced the arrival of 2000 Cuban doctors “expelled from Brazil” and 500 Cuban specialists supposed to somehow replace the over 15,000 Venezuelan doctors that have left the country, and that according to the President (?) will “strengthen the Venezuelan health system”.

As expected, Motta Domínguez said on Sunday morning that the blackout was the product of sabotage inside the hospital, informing that the electric service had been partially restored. He ended his statement claiming that it was “a repudiable act of people who don’t care about life.”

I couldn’t agree more, if there’s something clear after 20 years, is that the revolution doesn’t care about anyone’s life.

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  1. Yeah that whole stripper party episode in the directors office is ABSOLUTELY APPAULING. Beyond words. Any serious government should have and would have made a public example out of those fat fucks. And a hospital without a generator is ludicrous. My gen-set even so much as coughs and I go over it with a fine tooth comb and give it an oil change to boot. And all it has to do is keep my air conditioners and refrigerators and freezers running. And don’t even get me started on Cuban doctors…. Nuf said, don’t get sick people. Your more likely as not to die from stepping foot inside a Venezuelan hospital.

    • The dancing gals sure look healthy. I’ll wager that she is very nice and is exceedingly talented. And has a big heart. By the looks of things, two of them.

      See? It isn’t impossible to find something good to say about the status of Venezuela!

  2. Marc: When the lotus-eating directors get too much heat in Venezuela they’re welcome in the US where their shenanigans clearly qualify them for membership as Democrats in Congress and unlimited junkets on the taxpayers dime. Although to be fair, all of our politicians have no problems spending the taxpayers money on lap dances or similar diversions. Guess that’s why their called a political “party”.

  3. I recommend that readers listen to a audio recording of a recent interview but out own Quico on something like the Canadian Council. I learned a lot and I thought Quico’s was fair and informed. A brief synopsis. As to blaming the opposition for the endurance of Chavismo, Quico called that victim blaming saying that the reality is that the opposition is powerless but has to pay the price with imprisionment when they attempt to lead a protest Other points he made. The biggest mistake the opposition hasade is it’s failure to coalesce into a single group with an accountable leadership. He spoke convincingly of Cuban interference and control. As to an outcome he said that Chavismo, he regretted to say, was sustainable but that to be so the party would have to get the Cuban influenced extremists to fix the economy. He basically predicted a Chavismo schism with more moderate chavistas assuming control. He says the government is losing control of the country and
    control Caracas and the botders. Here is the link.

      • I also heard it and share your views of Franciscos brilliant explanation and insights on the Venezuelan situation . I would invite anyone wanting a lucid outlook on this subject to visit the page and hear the conversation …..
        When govts fail and their performnce produce results like those that Venezuela now suffers , Govt has to be held accountable and be replaced in office by someone else that can do a better job ,Thats what democracy is for . thats the problem with autocratic regimes there is no way for them to be held accountable for their failures and mistakes and in consequence no way to change them for others that can do a better job.

    • Indeed, a Chavista schism will remove Maduro from office. It is Chavistas with the military that have the weapons to do so. The economic cataclysm is epic, the devaluation is of 20% daily!

      But I have a hard time seeing how Chavismo-post-Maduro will remain in power. As a political movement Chavismo is HATED by the populace, of course, the military can impose whomever they want as long as they shoot many scores of people on the street as they did for Maduro.

      But after the streets are calm and bloody they will need capital and professional management to start the reconstruction of the shit pile that Venezuela is. Maybe, the Chinese colonize the country and make it some type of vassal state. Otherwise, I just don’t see how a Chavismo-post-Maduro is viable.

  4. I meant to say that the more moderate chavistas would have to oust the Cuban influenced zealots in order to stop the economic chaos in order to make Chavismo sustainable…

    • IMHO, the biggest problem with the opposition is that too many of these opposition parties are not that much different than Chavismo. Secondarily, there are too many of them all promising the same thing… same shit, different leadership. How can you find a leader among a group of people who all want the same thing, but only with THEM in a leadership position?

      Maybe that’s because I come from the perspective of a United States citizen, where third parties are a relative rarity.

      I have asked innumerable times on this forum. Where is the Venezuelan political party (or politician) that is going to tell the people the truth about Marxist economic thought and its uselessness and epic failure throughout the history of mankind? Not a SINGLE SUCCESS STORY ANYWHERE. Is it because such a party knows that El Pueblo won’t embrace such truth?

      If that is the case, it isn’t the political parties that are failing, but the people. I fear that the vast majority of Venezuelans believe in Santa Claus… and Santa looks a lot like Karl Marx.

  5. We had a working democracy for 40 years before the Chavez rgime raised its ugly head and whatever the failures of past leaders and their govts they were much much better in their performance than what chavismo has produced , even a mediochre govt , however dysfunctional as compared to govts in developed places , they were a hundrd times better than the chavez maduro regime. They would not have destroyed the country into ruins as this regime has done …….I have no doubts that the collapse would have been avoided even if we would have been unhappy at their mediochrity, An the destruction was due not just to the ideology which they claimed inspired them , other govts in latam have invoked the same ideological inspiration but they have not caused their countrys to collapse, there was an added dimension , beyond the purely ideological that produced the collapse that Venezuela currently suffers.

  6. The oppo AN has been doing all of Chavismo’s work for them. 15 different parties, with not a lick of difference between any of them.

    Divide and conquer.

    Unify under the singular banner of honesty and integrity.

  7. In coming days it will interesting to see what is Maduro next move to divert attention from the economy and Guaidó popularity. My bet is that he will try another incursion into Guyana.


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